Friday April 13th 2012
Earlier this week, five hundred or so random stragglers gathered in a Leicester Square cinema to watch the first twenty minutes of Prometheus, Ridley Scott’s mega-hyped return to the Alien franchise. Scott himself was there to answer a few questions afterwards, along with cast members Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender and Noomi Rapace. In an effort to bring you the hottest film news as it happens, I’ve waited just three days to write up the experience. Here are my findings, complete with some artsy little illustrations I’ve knocked up:
1. It looks great.
It’s usually quite hard to get absorbed in these so-called ‘taster reels’, because they dwell so heavily on the big effects shots that there’s no space for plot or character. Instead, what we saw of Prometheus introduced us to all the major players, several key locations and the basic premise. And fuck me does it all look exciting. Even the presence of a Minority Report-style holographic computer didn’t bother me.
2. Fassbender plays Bowie.
Fassbender’s placid android David only appears briefly in the footage we saw, but he’s already my favourite character. The Fass has slimmed down quite a bit for the role and perfected this amazing little preppy walk. In the Q&A afterwards, he listed influences as disparate as The Servant and Greg Louganis, but the obvious visual reference is Thin White Duke-era Bowie.
3. Theron swears up a fucking storm.
Not in the movie, sadly. But on stage, Charlize Theron (of unsung-star-of-the-year’s-fourth-best-movie fame) swears like a trooper. Her and Fassbender kept whispering little in-jokes to each other as well. I wonder if they’re fucking. I’m going to go ahead and assume that they are.
4. Guy Pearce is crusty and old.
These days it seems the quality of an actor’s performance is measured primarily on how many layers of ageing make-up they’re working against. When Guy Pearce showed up as mysterious elderly scientist Peter Weyland (pictured here), I had literally no idea that it was him. Luckily a younger, less melted version of the character can be seen in this spoof 2023 TED talk.
5. Ridley Scott answers ‘The 3D Question’ better than anybody else.
Because most film fans nowadays seem more interested in debating the merits of a piece of fucking technology than appreciating the language of cinema, it didn’t take long for somebody in the audience to ask Ridley Scott ‘The 3D Question’. Without a second’s pause, Scott launched into the most reasonable, succinct, utterly bang-on response to the question I’ve ever heard, which went something like this: “It doesn’t make a difference. It’s not any easier or harder. Anyone who thinks it adds 16 weeks to the shoot doesn’t know what the hell they’re doing. It’s straightforward. Fuck off.”